I've come upon many sentences that have put parentheses around words that are essential to the sentence's meaning. I was wondering why these words are written like this? Here is an example: "But for some reason the (boys) make us laugh." Why is "boys" put in parentheses?
closed as off-topic by Mari-Lou A, Dan Bron, Cascabel, Drew, choster Jan 30 '17 at 4:09
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This is a quotation from MTV's original disclaimer for the show 'Beavis and Butthead'
Beavis and Butt-head are not real. They are stupid cartoon people completely made up by this Texas guy who we hardly even know. Beavis and Butt-head are dumb, crude, thoughtless, ugly, sexist, self-destructive fools. But for some reason, the little weinerheads make us laugh.
In most online versions of this the expression in parentheses, (boys), replaces little weinerheads; presumably somebody somewhere thought (or pretended to think, as a joke) that little weinerheads was too vulgar to put before their readers.
In academic contexts square brackets  are usually used to acknowledge alterations to an original; but this particular edit is unlikely to appear in an academic context.